Lots of NBA Playoff action last night. Plenty to get to on that, but first some Wizards links, including a interesting endorsement of a potential head coaching candidate for the Wizards:
The Clippers and Grizzlies will play Game 4 tonight in what Steve Perrin believes to be the "only competitive first-round playoff series." [SB Nation]
Recaps from yesterday's four playoff matchups: [Heat-Knicks (SB Nation, SI, AP) | Lakers-Nuggets (SB Nation, SI, AP) | Celtics-Hawks (SB Nation, SI, AP) | Bulls-Sixers (SB Nation, SI, AP)]
The injuries kept piling up yesterday. Kendrick Perkins left in the first quarter of the Thunder's series-ending Game 4 victory over the Mavericks with a strained right hip Saturday, and yesterday Baron Davis suffered a ghastly dislocated right knee.
How ghastly? Well, this was the reaction on the Heat's bench. Yikes. I dislocated my left patella a few years ago while playing a pickup game of football with some friends (one of whom kicked my kneecap out of its socket). For what it's worth, my friends had the same "OMG GROSS" reaction as Miami's players did. For those with a strong stomach, here's the video of Davis's injury.
So the Knicks didn't just roll over and die yesterday. Chalk me up as surprised. Carmelo Anthony exploded for 41 points and Amar'e Stoudemire, slashed hand and all, came up big with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Now they just gotta do it three more times. [ESPN New York]
Burned into the memories of every Washington Wizards fan older than 10 is the image of LeBron James icing Gilbert Arenas at the free throw line in Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. Well, this isn't exactly the same situation (especially since the Knicks went on to win), but it's close.
This is what LeBron wore to the arena before losing to the Knicks. Submitted without comment. [SB Nation]
Part of me feels bad for Dan Wade, but another part thinks he was kind of asking for it by registering on Twitter as @Dwade. [SB Nation]
So the Heat lose one playoff game and the questioning of Erik Spoelstra has already begun? Tough crowd. [Heat Index]
The Bulls just can't get it done without Derrick Rose. [ESPN Chicago]
On the flipside, Jrue Holiday is leading the Sixers past Chicago. [TrueHoop]
Dan Grunfeld knows what Rose is going through. [SB Nation]
Steve Blake is pretty much the only current NBA player that University of Maryland alums (such as myself) can be proud of. Nice to see him get some of the spotlight last night. [ESPN]
Blake wasn't the only role player to come up big for the Lakers. [ESPN Los Angeles]
Kobe Bryant is glad to see someone else hitting clutch shots for once. [Yahoo! Sports]
Paul Pierce continues to have a great series against the Hawks, leading the Celtics to a convincing Game 4 victory and a commanding 3-1 series lead. [ESPN Boston]
Could Rajon Rondo be the lone thing standing between the Heat and the NBA Finals? [Yahoo! Sports]
Though Boston looked great, it should know from its own history that the Hawks aren't quite done yet. [ESPN Boston]
The Mavericks might not have a great shot at Deron Williams, but Jason Kidd plans to help bring the Dallas native back home. [Sporting News]
Speaking of the Mavs, their players decided to keep Lamar Odom out of their share of playoff cash, costing him about $14,000. Not sure how much he'll miss that. [ESPN Dallas]
Rick Carlisle's contract is set to expire, but Don Nelson expects to have him back on the Mavs' sideline next season. [ESPN Dallas]
Bomani Jones plays "He's Still In The League?!" with some dudes playing pick-up hoops. [SB Nation]